Actor Sean Jacklin plays Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest at the Alumnae Theatre
Sean Jacklin, an acting alumni of George Brown College, has never considered anything other than theatre his whole life.
“When you fall into doing something like that it just comes naturally to you, there really isn’t any push to do anything else,” Jacklin said.
His dedication to the arts is also shared with his family, who own a theatre company, Barn Door Productions. It began when he was child although his parents were involved in theatre even before he was born.
Jacklin watched rehearsals every night as his parents ran their company. As he got older, he assisted with the building of sets and learned his way around the tools of theatre.
Another inspiration for his talent was drawn from his hometown of Perth, Ontario.
“It’s a very artistically rich town, Perth, I think there’s at least three or four theatre companies running out of there”, he said.
Jacklin attributed the development of his talent to a former drama teacher, Carolee Mason of Perth District Collegiate Institute. She was an inspiration “for me, and for everyone,” he said.
Jeff Mason, her husband and the school’s guidance counsellor who assisted with theatre program also played a part in his success with regards to the technical “stuff.”
Jacklin made his debut in high school, travelling across Ontario to compete in the The Sears Drama Festival every year.
In his last year, he stepped off the stage as a actor and moved behind the scenes to work in tech.
“It was something that I kind of fell into while growing up,” he explained.
Inspired by some “strong tech teachers” at Guelph University, Jacklin further pursued the technical aspects of theatre and became skilled at set building, lighting design, costumes, and sound design.
His first professional job was at the Classical Theatre located in his hometown, where he began as a tech assistant. He returned to the theatre in 2012, but this time as the technical director and production manager.
“I find a lot of actors in the biz don’t appreciate the technical aspect of theatre as well, and don’t really have those skills”, Jacklin said and added that it also gave him the opportunity to “connect with the people back stage too.”
Jacklin returned to his acting roots after being casted as Algernon in Oscar Wilde’s satire, The Importance of Being Earnest , staged at the Alumnae Theatre from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6.
In this classic play, Wilde ridiculed the upper-class Victorian society with the use of comedy.
The actor described his character, Algernon, one of the lead characters in the play, as more “aloof” than himself.
“Algernon is upper class enough that he doesn’t have to care about his monthly finances and for a working actor in 21st century Canada you’re constantly worrying about your finances,” he said.
Jacklin was introduced to this play from an early age by his parents in 1998. By the time he was ten, he had read the play and seen it a dozen times.
“It’s kind of a dream role in a dream play. It’s one of the best written shows in western history”, Jacklin said.